Fear the Walking Dead Episode 202 Recap
Travis has been going over the log book that Nick got from the sunken ship. According to the log, the army burned down San Diego. Strand doesn’t believe it, and wants to continue heading south. A blip on his radar reveals that a large ship – probably the one that blew up the other ship – is still coming after them, and coming fast. If they stick close to shore, radar can’t find them. Travis picks an island that is a wildlife refuge. It will have a ranger station, radio, supplies. Strand resists, but eventually agrees.
It is night as they dock. Madison sees a light flicker on and off in a coastal house. Strand will stay on the boat, and Daniel and Ofelia will stay with him. Daniel still doesn’t trust Strand and thinks he will leave without them.
Madison, Travis, Alicia, Chris, and Nick head to the dark house. Travis calls out, promising they are not sick, not a threat, just need some help. A little boy runs out; his dad chases him back inside. Travis again promises there is nothing to fear from them and introduces himself with a hearty handshake. The family is invited in.
The patriarch, George, runs the tourist island, along with his wife, Melissa, his teenage son, Seth, and two young children, Harry and Willa. The womenfolk go chat in the kitchen in a startlingly sexist division, while Travis and George have a beer in his study. George informs Travis that the military used napalm to bomb up and down the coast: Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Los Angeles. San Diego was burned; the border to Mexico was shuttered. George had been checking in with other ranger stations. Joshua Tree is gone; Rocky Mountains is gone; Utah is gone. As far as he can tell, the western portion of the United States is gone. George believes that this world couldn’t sustain itself, and this plague is “course correction.” “Your people get this better than anyone,” George says, but it isn’t a racist declaration. He is an “amateur anthropologist” and recognizes Travis as Maori. This seems to endear Travis to George, and he considers them friends.
Keeping with the 1950s social divisions, Nick, Chris, and Alicia keep the little kids company (Seth is out doing rounds with his rifle). Nick is good with the kids and Harry shows off his bedroom. Nick is taken aback when he sees his action figures all have red dots on their foreheads. “That’s what has to happen now when people get sick,” Harry explains matter-of-factly. “If I take my Power Pills, my family stays together!”
Travis and Madison talk outside. George never lets his family go to the mainland; something about his connection to the land. Madison believes that Melissa turned on the lights to signal them, and that she wants to get off the island. Back on the boat, Nick reveals to his sister that “something is off here.”
Dawn breaks and Chris sees Seth going towards the shore with a pickaxe. Intrigued, Chris follows, and Seth invites him to help with his chores. Three times a day, he goes to the shore, which is guarded by a chain link fence, and axes whatever zombies wash ashore. There are new ones every day, and to Seth, it is just a pain in the ass. George taught him how to kill, how to survive, has been prepping his family forever. They are not survivalist; just self reliant. He gives Chris a go with the pickaxe, and he is good at it. Travis finds them and wants him to come inside. Chris wants to kill one last one that just washed up. Travis is somehow upset by this.
He takes his concerns to George, but just says he has a “problem at the fence line.” George doesn’t see it as a problem. “This is how we manage now. That’s how it is.” He takes Travis on a ride, to another part of the shore. Farther down is a tourist town, where a few of the dead still wander over from. He is patching up the fence, so that any zombies can’t cross over into his land, and assures Travis that this is not right or wrong, good or bad. It just is. Travis thinks he is giving up; George sees it as survival.
Madison helps Melissa with the gardening. After some small talk, Madison finally asks if Melissa flicked on the lights. She denies it at first, then admits, in hushed tones, that she saw them from the pier and hoped that they would bring hope, maybe good news from the mainland. Madison suggests the family come with them. Melissa has MS and doesn’t want to be a burden on them. George won’t leave, believing it is better to die with family than with strangers. It finally becomes clear to Madison: Melissa wants them to take Willa and Harry.
While everyone is out of the house, Nick hunts through the medicine cabinet. Finding nothing of interest, he explores the rest of the house, and finds a bag of yellow pills hidden inside a small, hollow globe. He is surprised by Willa, who wants him to draw with her, and he leaves the pills behind.
On the boat, the radar quiets down. The boat that was following them is gone. “We sail with the tide.” Strand goes ashore for a bit to make a phone call (on a mysteriously-working cell phone) and tells the person on the other line that “it is all clear now,” and he promises “to be there by sundown.” On the yacht, Daniel snoops around the bridge and finds a hidden, locked cabinet. Inside he finds an automatic weapon and plans that suggest Strand wants to go to Mexico.
Madison discusses taking Harry and Willa with Travis, pointing out that where they go next, they could find safety. She reasons that they wouldn’t be “taking” the kids; rather, they would be saving them. Travis wants to talk to George about it. Nick comes in with alarming news: he thinks George is planning on “Jonestowning” his whole family. The pills he found are not recreational; he thinks they are poison.
Travis is no longer worried about talking with George. They go inside and Melissa gives them Willa and Harry’s suitcases. She told them they are going on a boat ride and would be back in a few days. Melissa gives them a few, nervous, last-minute tips about the kids, and George comes in. Melissa begs him to give the kids a chance. Harry comes downstairs, frightened, and says there is something wrong with Willa. The little girl is passed out on the floor, the bag of poison pills open beside her. Melissa holds her daughter, crying, when Willa’s eyes open. Melissa is hopeful, but her eyes are milky. We all know where this is going, and Willa rips out her mother’s throat. George tells Travis to take Harry and leave. He is staying.
Travis and Madison rush Harry back to the boat. Strand demands they put him back where they found him. Madison refuses, says it is time to start saving people. Too late: Seth comes aboard, rifle drawn, and demands Harry come home with him. Madison’s argument is fruitless and eventually she lets Harry leave with his older brother. The boat pulls away as Melissa, now a zombie, shuffles down the dock. Seth instructs Harry to keep waving at their new friends so that he doesn’t see him shoot their mother in the head.
You can watch previews for the next episode, titled “Ouroboros,,” by clicking here.